Expensive Cleaning Products and the Environment
If you kept track of just one month of your cleaning expenses, you would be very surprised. When we look at each individual cleaning product we really do not consider the cost because it is usually around four to five dollars each. We use laundry detergent, softeners, and stain removers just for our laundry. Now in the kitchen, we buy dish soap, dishwasher detergent, spray cleaners for the counter and floor cleaner and shine. The living room requires furniture polish and floor cleaner. The bathrooms and multiply for each bathroom in your house, you have window cleaner for the mirror and tub and tile cleaners, plus the toilet bowel cleaner and floor cleaner. Yes, some of these overlap, but only a few of them. This quite a bit of money spent each month.
Not only have you spent a lot of money for these cleaning products but also the chemical mixture you have put in your house affects your family’s health. The person doing the cleaning gets more exposure to all these different types of chemical first hand. The average home uses about 63 different cleaning products. Of the 63 cleaning products 17,000 petrochemicals are available and only 30% have been tested for environmental safety and human exposure. Your home can be more polluted than any outdoor exposure.
Make Your Own Affordable Cleaning Products- people have done so for many years
Most of the safe homemade remedies are crossed with items you already have in your home. They are inexpensive and safe for your family. These cleaning alternatives usually are multi-tasked as well. Take a look around in your cupboards and you will see some safe items that have many cleaning abilities like
- Baking Soda- neutralizes and deodorises
- Lemon Juice – cleans and deodorises
- Vinegar – dissolves, removes, polishes, and deodorises
- Borax – cleans, deodorises, and inhibits
Some of my Favourites
Some of my favourite safe alternatives are vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and tea tree oil. Some essential oils from our natural fruits and vegetables make great cleaning products as well. The oils are much better for refreshing your house with those great healthy smells in your potpourri pots. You only use a few drops, so these oils last for quite a while.
A few Homemade Cleaning Remedies
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate
- sprinkle to extinguish grease fires
- cleans and polishes aluminum, chrome, silver, jewelry, plastic, porcelain, stainless steel and tin
- softens fabrics (half cup in with your laundry)
- removes stains (make a paste with water)
- very effective underarm deodorant (mix equal parts baking soda and cornstarch and add just enough coconut oil to hold it all together). Add a bit of essential oil such as lavender or lemon, and you have an effective and very cheap deodorant)
- makes great toothpaste. Pour a little mouthwash (natural, of course) over your brush and dip it in the baking soda.
- cleans glass
- removes stains from aluminum, clothes (test a small portion first) and porcelain
- lightens/ bleaches if used with sunlight
- dissolves mineral deposits (soak a cloth with vinegar and wrap it around your faucet spout and leave on for an hour or so)
- removes grease, traces of soap and wax buildup
- polishes some metals
- deodorizes bad odors
- inhibits mold and mildew growth
- boosts the cleaning power of soaps or detergents (toss a half cup in with your laundry)
- stain remover
- kills cockroaches when used with an attractant such as sugar
The Difficulties of Cleaning Floors and Keeping Them Clean
Floors are probably the hardest part of cleaning as you can just sweep the floor in the morning and by evening it need sweeping again. The amount of cleaning needed on your floors will depend on the amount of traffic that uses the floors. Entry ways are notorious for needing constant cleaning. We tend to bring the dirt and dust in with us from outside and the entry way is our first contact. The kitchen would probably be the second floor that is hard to keep clean. The traffic alone in there is taxing on the floor, now combine that with the act of cooking as food droppings tend to find their way on the floor as well.
Why It Is Important To Keep Floors Clean
Clean floors are a necessity for several reasons. The first is health, if our floors are not clean and have outside dirt and germs we will be dragging all that throughout the house. Then when we go to the bathroom we are tracking dirt from the floor back into our beds. When the children sit or lounge on the floor they will pick up all the dirt there and take it where ever else they go in the house. Then your floor dirt will be everywhere and make cleaning three times as hard.
Types of Floors and How to Keep Them Clean
- Wood Floor – Wooden floors are best to sweep and mop with a wood cleaner. Any harsh cleaners may harm the wood and remove and sealants or varnishes.
- Vinyl Flooring – Whether tiles or Linoleum they are both vinyl and require sweeping and moping with cleanser that will clean and sanitise with a fresh smell. A light waxing may help keep the vinyl floor cleaner for longer periods.
- Ceramic Tile – After sweeping the floor it is best to not soak the tile and let the water settle. With tile there is the grout that holds the tiles in place, so you don’t want water setting on the floor too long.
- Carpet – Vacuuming is essential with carpet, the more you vacuum the belter. You don’t want to let dirt settle too long on your carpet as it may tend to get down into the fibers and make it harder to get out with just a vacuum.
- Or use some natural alternatives – read more here
Some Popular Products for Use on Floors and ‘My’ Opinion on Them
One popular product for vinyl floors is “Mop n Glo”, I am not a fan of this product. I find it does not give your floor a good shine. I like “Pine-Sol” cleaner for cleaning non-wood floors. For carpets there are the carpet deodorisers that you sprinkle on our carpet. These do smell good at first, however they do not clean a thing and the nice smell will go away just to leave the powder caked in the fibers of your carpet. The vacuum does not always get all the powder back out of the carpet. Here are some other cleaning products that might be of interest as well.
Alternative Ways to Keep Your Floors Clean
There are a few things you can try to help keep your floors cleaner. Some of these will make daily floor cleaning easier as well. Place outside mats at all outside doors, this will keep some of the outside dirt out. Scatter or throw rugs help keep the floors cleaner and daily they will just need to be rolled up and taken outside for a good shaking. The best alternative is to make shoes off at the door a #1 house rule.
The importance of keeping a clean house goes beyond appearances or just keeping up with the neighbours. Our family’s sanity relies on a clean house. When your home is clean then everyone feels a lot happier being home. There is no danger of injury from falling over a mess or slipping on a dirty wet floor. Keeping a clean house will also teach children good clean habits when they are young to carry into adulthood.
- Scum in your sinks and tub
- Bugs in your bed
- Ants in your kitchen
- Roaches in your bathroom
- Dust on your tables and floors
- Mold and mildew
- Stains in the carpet
- Mice droppings
- Dirt and filth
Why It Is Important For Health
Cleaning your house on a regular schedule is important for your health for so many reasons. Keeping your bathroom clean will prevent germs from spreading and possibly making you or your family sick. Also, it would almost be impossible to take a shower or a bath in an unclean tub and believe you will come out clean. Your kitchen area is a place that has a lot of traffic and where food is made. Many people get ill enough to require medical attention from unhealthy food. Without a clean kitchen to prepare meals in you are definitely inviting disaster for your family.
Why It Is Important for Allergies
So many people fight being sick only to find out it was an allergic reaction all along. Most people do not realize that dust is the main cause for allergy sufferers. So, dusting, vacuuming and sweeping are essential cleaning activities that need to be done often. To diagnose allergies is not an easy task, so cleaning the dust and allergens from your house will save your family a lot uncomfortable pain, testing, and medicines. If you have a clean house and you are still fighting off allergies also be aware that it might be your cleaning products causing the problem.
Why It Is Important For Your Reputation/Image
If you get a reputation for not having a clean house it is not only a reflection on you, but your whole family. Your children may get teased at school. People would think twice when being invited over for a dinner party. At the school bake sale no one seems to want to buy your bake goods. This overall will not leave you or your family feeling good at all. If your house is not clean it will show on your appearance outside, whether it is on your clothes, hair, or shoes. Dirt likes to multiply anyway or any place you let it.
How It Can Keep You Fit
When you clean continuously you are burning up calories and getting your blood flowing. Cleaning is just another form of exercise except you are getting two different results at the same time. Imagine how much energy you burn up by just dusting and vacuuming. Not to mention the muscle you put into cleaning the sinks tubs and floors. All this exercise didn’t even cost you an extra dime in the process.
Cleaning Should Not Be Just One Person’s Responsibility
Everyone in the household contributes to the mess in a house. To have just one person responsible for the entire cleaning of the house is unfair. Little ones need to start learning while young to do small cleaning jobs; this enforces good cleaning habits when they are older. With everyone pitching in, there will be more free time for family fun. Here are some tips from average people on getting the family to pitch in